Welcome to the World of Horseracing

Record of the blog selections

Since March 2010, this blog has recommended wagers on 520 individual races on Jump Racing in the UK, resulting in a PROFIT of £1,525.39 on cumulative stakes of £5,726 - equivalent to a Return On Investment of 26.60%.


For the 2016-17 Jumps Season, this blog recorded a LOSS of £40.87

from wagers on 55 individual races (6 winners, 12 placed)

Total Staked = £609.00


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advising selections on which to wager, since March 2010.

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Boxing Day Yankee


One of my favourite days of racing in the whole calendar – Boxing Day. I have some great memories of this day, including my namesake WAYWARD LAD winning the King George at Kempton 3 times, the best (in my opinion) being his last win in 1985. The weather has played havoc with the fixtures, but we still have plenty of decent racing to take advantage of.
We didn’t do badly last Saturday as I was able to have a 1pt win wager on MAJALA at Haydock at 5/2 after that was declared his preferred race at 12:24pm – just  14mins before he ran in the 12:40. Of course, he was a non-runner at Ascot, but the way he won at Haydock suggest he’d have won at Ascot too, had he taken part, and he was 7/1 for that race. My 2pt win selection HEY BIG SPENDER just wasn’t race fit, and I wasn’t to know that until we saw pictures of him at the start before the race. That is always a risk when a horse returns after a break, and it would suggest that the horse has a late season target, probably the Grand National. As for PRINCETON PLAINS, the horse was well there with 3 furlong to go but was taken on a wide line into the home straight (the home turn is a tight one at Ascot) which caused him to lose about half-a-dozen lengths on the leaders and his chance was gone. He was still only a length off being placed in the 1st-4 and eventually finished 6th.
Let’s look at the Alert List runners for Boxing Day:-
Kempton:
2:00 – MOLOTOF – I can’t see this horse winning to be honest.
2:35 – RAYA STAR – this trip of 2-mile will suit him much better than the 2m4f of LTO, he can go close.
3:10 – CHAMPION COURT – never shown any form beyond 2m5f so aiming for place money.
3:45 – VALID REASON & LOOSE CHIPS – Altho’ he’s only had 6 hurdle runs, I’ve had VALID REASON on my alert list since he won over 2m6f at Ascot in Nov’11 (his 2nd hurdle race). His 2 races this autumn have been solid considering they were over an inadequate trip and this 2m5f will be perfect, the soft ground won’t bother him and what’s more he has Barry Geraghty in the saddle.  LOOSE CHIPS won over C&D LTO and the runner-up only just failed to win NTO. I’m siding with VALID REASON.
Wetherby:
1:45 – CAPE TRIBULATION – ran an eye-catching race when 5th on 1st January at Cheltenham over 2m5f. Since then he’s improved 13lb as a hurdler and I reckon this 3-mile trip is what he wants as a chaser but if the ground is soft or worse then I’ll have to pass him over in favour of BALLYOLIVER @ 9/4 who will love soft/heavy and is bang in form.
2:20 – SKI SUNDAY – could have found a winning opportunity, not much value at 7/4 tho’.
2:55 – NO PLANNING – this 2m4f trip will suit him and he can win this off OR126 on the ground, he’s 100/30 at best.
Market Rasen:
2:10 – OVERYOU – a horse who needs a stamina test and this 3m5f chase will provide that!
Wincanton
2:50 – ROLLING ACES – should prove far too good for these, now odds-on at 4/5.
Ffos Las
2:20 – FIREBIRD FLYER – top-weight and giving lots away to 2nd-fav Bravo Bravo, not sure he’s capable of doing it.

Selections:
Kempton 3:10 – CUE CARD, 1pt win @ 6/1 – I reckon this horse could be exceptional over this 3-mile trip, and at 6/1 he’s worth a wager
Kempton 3:45 – VALID REASON, ½pt eachway @ 12/1

Boxing Day "win" Yankee
Wetherby 1:45 – BALLYOLIVER
Wetherby 2:55 – NO PLANNING
Market Rasen 2:10 – OVERYOU
Wincanton 2:50 – ROLLING ACES

Thanks for reading this blog to all visitors and I hope that you get enjoyment from it. If you have had a successful wager on the back of what you’ve read here, then please make a contribution as an expression of thanks. Feel free to tell those who you think may find the blog of interest and value and, if you are a regular visitor, please add the blog to your list of favourites.
Remember! Betting on horseracing should be a pleasurable experience - never bet more than you can afford to lose. 
Thanks from Wayward Lad.

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Spend a little time with me!

We have heavy going at both of today’s meeting at Ascot and Haydock. So, like the horses, tread carefully. There are plenty of runners from my personal alert list are out today.

At Ascot:
2:00 – REVE DE SIVOLA - this horse has been on my alert list for some years now as he was a very good novice hurdler. Personally, I don’t think he’s up to winning this unless the principals cannot handle this extreme going. However, I don’t think he disappointed as a chaser and I’d love to see him try that sphere again off OR138, as I reckon he’s a 150+ chaser at best, and he isn’t yet 8yo.

2:35 – WYCK HILL - As much as I like Wyck Hill, I really do think he’s been thrown-in the deep end here. He’s 6lb out of the handicap, and would have to run a career-best to even be in the frame. I’ll be frank here; I don’t think Hold On Julio is up to this level, even running off what could be a decent handicap mark, as he looked quite pedestrian to me in the Hennessey. I don’t think he’ll be helped by the heavy going either. I reckon HEY BIG SPENDER is a better horse than Roberto Goldback and so having a 4lb pull makes his advantage even bigger. If Ackertac stays this 3-mile trip (hasn’t shown any ability to stay 2m6f in 8 races beyond that trip) in heavy going, then I want to see a stewards enquiry. The “fly” is Katenko. Venetia Williams is walking on water this autumn with her chasers, but even she would need a miracle to make this horse win this after his poor debut run in this country last month. Unfortunately, I’ve missed the 9/2 available this morning and he’s only 7/2 now, but I think this is effectively a 2-horse race (ie, will Hold On Julio perform) and I’d be happy taking 9/4 on HEY BIG SPENDER. He’s a 2pt win wager, and I don’t make many of those!

 3:10 – BOTHY / CASH AND GO / PRINCETON PLAINS - There are 3 from my alert list going in the “Ladbroke” hurdle and the one that strikes me as “under-the-radar” is PRINCETON PLAINS. He’s coming into this race in the form of his life, and he loves these big-field competitive handicap hurdles. I can see him being covered-up in 7th-10th place before making his move in the final half-mile. I cannot understand why this horse is now 28/1 as he hasn’t been inconvenienced on heavy ground in the past.

3:40 – MAJALA / MY BROTHER SYLVEST – Of this pair, I have a lot of time for MAJALA who really could be thrown-in off OR135. He’ll handle this ground alright and there is not fat in the price of the fav Ulck Du Lin. At 7/1 he’s an eachway steal.

When Haydock is heavy, it really is heavy, and I’m half-expecting it not to go on. I’m not making any selection there.

Selections:
Ascot 2:35, HEY BIG SPENDER, 2pts win @ 7/2 (BetVictor, Bet365 Hills, all go BOG)
Ascot 3:10, PRINCETON PLAINS, ½pt eachway @ 28/1 (Bet365, Stan James, both go BOG & ¼ odds a place 1,2,3,4)
Ascot 3:40, MAJALA, ½pt eachway @ 7/1 (Bet365, Stan Paddy Power Hills, all go BOG & 5th odds a place 1,2,3)
Total = 4pts staked

Thanks for reading this blog to all visitors and I hope that you get enjoyment from it. If you have had a successful wager on the back of what you’ve read here, then please make a contribution as an expression of thanks. Feel free to tell those who you think may find the blog of interest and value and, if you are a regular visitor, please add the blog to your list of favourites. Remember! Betting on horseracing should be a pleasurable experience - never bet more than you can afford to lose.
Thanks from Wayward Lad.

Friday, 21 December 2012

Cue Card worthy of an interest

There was only one horse running from my personal alert list yesterday, and I managed to persuade myself not to have a wager on it - SHAKING HANDS went on to win the 2:10 at Towcester @11/2, beating my selection Chac Du Cadran into 2nd in the process.

So much for me thinking the horse would not be happy on the rain-sodden ground, he made-all and came home the 11/2 winner. His previous races on soft/heavy going have seen him pull-up (LTO), come last of 11, 4th of 13, 3rd of 9, 2nd of 7, 1st of 11 (as a novice chaser), pulled-up (again), and 1st of 10 in his debut chase. With a couple of novice chase wins on heavy I was perhaps being over-critical, but he has pulled-up a couple of times too on extreme going. His rider, Tom Scudamore, gave him every opportunity to win by moving over to the stands-side rail after the 2nd last which caused the runner-up to move into the centre of the track if he was going to overtake. That caused Chac Du Cadran to lose his balance going into the final fence, and more vital yards and momentum, which he was unable to recover on the run-in. This was a hard slog and I reckon all the 1st-3 home will need a good rest after this.  Anyway, I'm in need of a change in fortune.

Today, we have only Ascot surviving the rain of the past few days. At 2:30, we see the chasing debut of the current "Arkle" fav Simonsig, from Nicky Hendersons's stable. I would be surprised to see this horse beaten today, but I am also surprised to see the horse have his chase debut on such awful, testing ground. Current odds of 1/5 are a bit stupid in my opinion as Henderson has had a couple of dodgy novice chasers in the recent past which were very decent hurdlers - so it is not a formality. In the 3:05 at Ascot, there is one from my alert list, SPANISH ARCH. This horse looks like he has a big future ahead of him, but I hate having wagers on heavy ground on horses that have no previous winning form on it, so I'll be watching only.

Looking ahead, it is interesting that connections of JUNIOR have stumped-up the £10,000 supplementary entry fee for the King George VI Chase on Boxing Day. They are clearly expecting this to be a slog in the mud, something that JUNIOR is well-up for and he'll come into this race bang-in-form. Let's be honest, unless those at the head of the market all fail to finish then JUNIOR is unlikely to win, however he is capable of taking 3rd or 4th place and providing a profit on the supplementary entry fee. He may well be worth including in any "swinger" wagers on the Tote, if that is your bag.. The more the weather stays wet, the more likely it is that LONG RUN will win on Boxing Day. He currently has an OR172 rating, and I think he's up to that mark, especially when racing on soft/heavy ground. I have been a big supporter of CUE CARD since his novice hurdle days (if you remember, there was talk that he may even have attempted the Champion Hurdle as a 5yo novice), but he is unproven at 3-mile as either a hurdler or a chaser. I think he will stay 3-mile, and I think he is potentially a better 3-miler than Long Run, but that is still to be proven on the track. The worry is that if he doesn't stay 3-mile then he may stop very quickly after the 3rd last fence on Boxing Day. Currently, CUE CARD is 5/1 at best odds (offered by Vic Chandler) and that's worth a small win wager, say ½pt.

Good luck & thanks for reading this blog to all visitors, I hope that readers of the blog get enjoyment from it.  If you've had a successful wager on the back of what you've read here, then please make a contribution as an expression of thanks. Feel free to tell those who you think may find the blog of interest and value and, if you are a regular visitor, please add the blog to your list of favourites.

Remember!  Betting on horseracing should be a pleasurable experience - never bet more than you can afford to lose.

Thanks from Wayward Lad.



Thursday, 20 December 2012

Peterborough Chase - it's not to be

No luck yesterday. Having gone thru' the races looking for value I missed a couple of winners mentioned in the narrative (Drumshambo and Roll The Dice) but managed to latch-on to a loser in Balbriggan. I wasn't the only one tempted by Balbriggan's form-book entry as he started the 7/2, 2nd-fav from a morning price of 11/2. There is clearly some potential there, but this horse won't show it on soft ground as he hated it and was soon struggling. That said, the race winner, HANDY ANDY, loved the mud and jumped superbly. There was no stopping the horse and he looks capable of staying a lot further than this should he attempt one of the marathon handicaps. On reflection, HANDY ANDY did have the strongest form going into the race and also looked the most capable of handling the soft ground. I was guilty of trying too hard to find one to beat the favourite when, actually, the favourite was by-far the most obvious winner.

I think I was right about the 3-mile handicap chase at Ludlow, it was a weak Class 3. The race went to Tour Des Champs who was 1 of only 4 to finish from the 9 starters. The horse I considered as a selection in the race, Milo Milan, stumbled around the track to finish 3rd at (in my opinion) the incredibly low odds of 7/2. I've no idea who thought that horse was worthy of a wager at those odds, but it wasn't me.

The rain that is lashing the country has claimed another meeting with Exeter having to abandon its racing today, which was to feature the Peterborough Chase (which had been transferred  from Huntingdon). As Huntingdon have a Boxing Day meeting next Wednesday, if it were up to me, I'd include the race in that. Looking ahead towards Boxing Day, I do love to have a decent wager on the day, it's very much a Christmas tradition for me. Last year I had a "yankee" and 3 of my 4 selections won. The horse that didn't win that day is running today at Towcester in the 2:10, Shaking Hands.

The heavy ground at Towcester will make this a real stamina test on what is already a stamina-sapping course. I can't have Shaking Hands today as he's never looked happy on any ground with the word "soft" in the description. Round The Horn has won his last 3 races on the back of a
preparatory run so, as he's been off the track for 229 days, I can't have him. It is a step into the unknown for the 5yo Little Trip, and he does look very one-paced. Atherstone Hill usually runs well after a break, but his seasonal debut earlier this month was poor, so maybe age is catching up with him.  As such, perhaps the race-fav CHAC DU CADRAN looks the best option, in much the same way as Handy Andy did yesterday.
His latest chase run (his 3rd) was his best yet and that was on soft going, and he won over hurdles at Towcester. Current odds of 11/4 are not bad considering the lack of opposition, and that opposition is either out of form or running on ground that is unsuitable.

Fingers crossed, the meetings at Ascot tomorrow and Saturday will go ahead, as I'm not confident of either Haydock or Newcastle being race-able.

Selection:
Towcester 2:10, CHAC DU CADRAN, 1pt win @ 11/4 (available generally)

Good luck & thanks for reading this blog to all visitors, I hope that readers of the blog get enjoyment from it.  If you've had a successful wager on the back of what you've read here, then please make a contribution as an expression of thanks. Feel free to tell those who you think may find the blog of interest and value and, if you are a regular visitor, please add the blog to your list of favourites.

Remember!  Betting on horseracing should be a pleasurable experience - never bet more than you can afford to lose.
Thanks from Wayward Lad.



Wednesday, 19 December 2012

The Perils of antepost wagering

Trainer Paul Nicholls isn't having a good time of it lately and, on Monday evening, he announced that his stable top-notchers BIG BUCKS and AL FEROF have both sustained injuries which are likely to keep them off the track for the remainder of this jump season. It is perhaps a timely reminder of the perils of antepost wagering on so-called certainties. A horse can't win a race unless it lines-up at the start and, in any form of racing not just jump racing, getting a horse to the start of a race can be an effort in itself. When considering an antepost wager you must include an element of "risk".

Take, for instance, the King George VI Chase on Boxing Day. Currently, there are 8 horses with odds under 20/1 in the antepost list; yet I'm expecting only 5 of those to actually take part: Long Run, Cue Card, Captain Chris, Kauto Stone and Finians Rainbow. I'd want odds of  6/1 about Sizing Europe to line-up, never mind "with a run",  Grands Crus will not be risked in a race of this stature on a return from injury, and Sir Des Champs will find the Lexus in Ireland a much easier race. If those 5 actually line-up on Boxing Day, then I'd expect the SP's to be:
Long Run @ 7/4, Cue Card @ 5/2, Kauto Stone @ 7/1, Finians Rainbow @ 10/1, and Captain Chris @ 12/1

They may be joined in the race by the likes of The Giant Bolster and one or another challenger, but those additions would not radically alter the structure of the betting for the race. Everyone will have their own opinion, but I wouldn't want to take less than 5/2 before the morning of the race about Long Run, nor would I take less than 100/30 about Cue Card. I do think it is very interesting that Nicholls has dismissed a supplementary entry for Silviniarco Conti into the race, and this is as much confirmation that you need that Kauto Stone could be the "ringer" in the market.

Over the Christmas break, I'll be putting together the foundations for my Cheltenham Festival dossier. We are now entering a very important phase in the jumps season: between Christmas Day and Valentines Day (14th Feb) virtually every winner of every race at the forthcoming Cheltenham Festival will have its final preparatory race. Get the notebooks ready, put the order in for the Weedender from now until Grand National week, and set aside some time to peruse the results every week between now and the Festival in March. My aim will be to issue the dossier on, or about, the 21st February.

The usual terms will apply; those who donate at least £10 between 1st November 2012 and 12th March 2013 will receive a copy.

There are a couple of decent meetings today at Newbury and Ludlow. The novice chase at Ludlow at 1:10 looks a punters nightmare as it could go to any one of the 1st-4 in the market and there are only 8 starters in the race.  Venetia Williams' Last Shot was pulled-out of a race yesterday for this, so that could be a good sign, but I am also interested in Phil Hobbs' Roll The Dice. The next on the card, the 2-mile handicap chase, should go to Venetia Williams' DRUMSHAMBO but at odds of only 6/4 there will be no interest from me.  The 3-mile handicap chase at 2:45 looks weak for a class 3. Only Howard's Legacy has won a Class 3 chase from the 9 runners, of which only 2 (Basoda and Take Of Shoc's) have more than 6 starts over fences. As such, I would not want to be taking a short price in this race and the couple I'm looking at are The Falkander and MILO MILAN. Altho' The Falklander has won a chase on soft going over 3-mile, he's not looked well handicapped in his latest couple of runs. MILO MILAN has been running over trips up to 2m5f but he has been staying-on in those races and he has the best speed-rating by a mile. Trainer Richard Lee has put 5lb claimer Michael Nolan in the saddle at that could be enough to swing it for him. Unfortunately, current odds of 5/1 don't look value to me and I'm looking for 13/2 or longer - no bet, as I'm looking to place an eachway wager.
Before I move-on from Ludlow, Nicky Henderson sends just one horse here (where he has a 34% strike rate: 35 wins from 103 runners since 2008/09 season) and that's Polly Peachum in the 3:15. Currently 6/1, she should win this comfortably.

There may be a better opportunity at Newbury, where only the 12:50, a 3-mile novices handicap chase, catches my eye. I really like BALBRIGGAN and he went into my notebook when he won his debut chase at Bangor over 2m4 f. I will forgive him his run LTO as he made a couple of errors and he wasn't beaten far by a proven stayer at 3-mile. He looks to retain his potential, whereas the fav Handy Andy is a plodder, Chartreux was very fortunate LTO, and High Kite is another one-paced horse. Current odds of 6/1 (Paddy Power) look generous to me, and I'm on to a 1pt win wager.

Selections:
Newbury 12:50, BALBRIGGAN, 1pt win @ 6/1 (Paddy Power)

Good luck & thanks for reading this blog to all visitors, I hope that readers of the blog get enjoyment from it.  If you've had a successful wager on the back of what you've read here, then please make a contribution as an expression of thanks. Feel free to tell those who you think may find the blog of interest and value and, if you are a regular visitor, please add the blog to your list of favourites.

Remember!  Betting on horseracing should be a pleasurable experience - never bet more than you can afford to lose.

Thanks from Wayward Lad.



Saturday, 15 December 2012

Cheltenham Saturday


Yesterday was not the best of days. I really convinced myself that Sound Stage had a half-decent chance, but he could cope with the ground. Let’s be honest, advance going reports described as  ”good-to-soft” should not become “heavy “  once racing starts. It made a mockery of form-study in advance of the racing.  My win selection, Bradley, also did not cope with the ground, whereas the race winner Master Overseer had good form on heavy.  It was a great run by Quartz De Thaix in 2nd and he can win again on better ground. Similarly, the final selection, Cross Kennon, struggled to last home.
Onto today, and let’s try and use that ground knowledge.
At Cheltenham, in the 1:20, OH CRICK has never been unplaced in 6 races on soft/heavy. With ground doubts over the fav Shooters Wood, and French import Garynella being an unknown quantity, I’m happy to have a 1pt win wager on OH CRICK at 9/2 (BetVictor) as the horse ran a cracker LTO.
The feature race at 2:30 has a strong fav in Walkon, who will love this ground. However, he’s best caught fresh and has “bounced” on his 2nd run of the season in the past. I cannot go for the 4yo Unioniste, tho’ I’m sure he’s a huge future, and I prefer his stablemate Cristal Bonus who has winning form on heavy ground. However, I’ve been banging-on about NADIYA DE LA VEGA all week and I’m not deserting the mare now. She should cope with the ground and comes here fit and well and has AP McCoy in the saddle (Barry Geraghty is on last years winner Quantitativeeasing).  A ½pt eachway at 10/1 (Hills, Paddy Power) looks good value to me.

That’s it for today (Christmas shopping calls):
Selections:
Cheltenham 1:20, OH CRICK, 1pt win @ 9/2 (BetVictor, BOG)
Cheltenham 2:30, NADIYA DE LA VEGA, ½pt each way @ 10/1 (Hills & Paddypowwer, BOG)

Thanks for reading this blog to all visitors and I hope that you get enjoyment from it. If you have had a successful wager on the back of what you’ve read here, then please make a contribution as an expression of thanks. Feel free to tell those who you think may find the blog of interest and value and, if you are a regular visitor, please add the blog to your list of favourites.
Remember! Betting on horseracing should be a pleasurable experience - never bet more than you can afford to lose. Thanks from Wayward Lad.

Friday, 14 December 2012

Cheltenham Friday

I had no time to write a blog yesterday, but I did post my selections up on twitter - you can find me at @wayward_lad

Yesterday, I tipped BALLY LEGEND in the 1:50 at Taunton, and MARSHAL ZHUKOV in the 3:20, also at Taunton. Bally Legend was a well beaten 2nd in his race and looks like he's not going to be as good a chaser as he was a hurdler. However, MARSHAL ZHUKOV was an emphatic winner, leading 2-out to score at an SP of 2/1.  A 1pt win wager on both selections would have seen you in profit by 1pt on the day at SP (starting prices) though Marshal Zhukov was available at 5/2 for most of the afternoon (I don't advise wagers at odds shorter than 9/4).

If there is no blog, then I will post any selections of mine on twitter. Don't worry, I'm not one of these tipsters who makes half-a-dozen (or more) selections a day and crows about it when just one wins. Before yesterday, my previous selection on twitter was on Tuesday - YA HAFED which I advised was an eachway wager @ 7/1. That selection also turned a profit, as YA HAFED finished 2nd at an SP of 17/2. Essentially, my selections are either 1pt win, or ½pt eachway.  YA HAFED returned a 0.35pt profit at SP.

As there was no blog last Saturday, I advised 2 selections via twitter; both were 1pt win selections.  Imperial Circus who finished 3rd of 5 runners; and Wayward Prince who won at and SP of 4/1.  WAYWARD PRINCE opened at 9/2 on-course and was available at 5/1 in the morning, but I'm happy to take 4/1. So then, the last 3 days on which I've advised selections have all returned a profit and, just this week, if you are following me then you are 4.35pts ahead on an investment of 5pts; that a ROI (return on investment) of 87%. However, when I calculate my blog profit (and loss, if there is one) I will NOT include twitter selections as not everyone who reads the blog uses twitter.

On Wednesday, I suggested that ZARKANDAR looked a good wager in the International Hurdle on Saturday at Cheltenham. His current odds for that race are 5/4 which is fair. Now, as I've said, I don't advise wagers at odds of 9/4 so what will be a more long-term ploy is taking advantage of the 8/1 for the Champion Hurdle. I expect ZARKANDAR to win on Saturday and, when that happens, unless he only scrapes home by less than a neck those Champion Hurdle odds should contract and he could well be the 5/1 joint-fav (with Hurricane Fly) come 3:15pm on Saturday.

For the feature race on Saturday, the Paul Stewart IronSpine Charity Challenge Gold Cup (handicap chase) over 2m5f, Ghizao has not been declared. As such, I'm focusing totally on the mare Nadiya De La Vega. She runs off the same mark of OR145 as when 3rd in the Paddy Power LTO, and so she has a 5lb pull with Walkon. I repeat my assertion of earlier this week: at 10/1 quarter-odds a place 1,2,3,4 she looks stonking value.

Today at Cheltenham we have a cracking day of racing. There's lots to write about so I won't spend too long on each race. The opening race has a red-hot fav in Broadbackbob, but "evens" is too short for me. He comes here with a lot of confidence and should win.

The 2nd race on the card is at 12:45, and 2 years ago SOUND STAGE won this in a canter off OR105. That was only his 3rd chase race and, later that season, he ran 2nd to Midnight Chase at level-weights over a similar trip. Were they to meet today, Midnight Chase would have to concede 45lbs to SOUND STAGE; and I rated SOUND STAGE at 132. He races off OR115 today and, in the intervening period, he's been campaigned primarily over 3-mile or more with stats of 10 runs, 0 wins, 2 places (both 3rd). SOUND STAGE does not stay a yard more than 2m6f. Yes, he'll plod-on into 6th or 7th, but he is not anywhere near as effective beyond 2m6f as he is at trips shorter than that. Trainer Caroline Keevil had a winner in MARSHAL ZHUKOV yesterday, and aims to have a winner at this Cheltenham meeting (she won the 2m1f hurdle with Bally Legend last year). I was hoping for slightly longer odds but 10/1 is fair enough.

I've not looked at the 1:20, so my next race is the 1:55, the 3m1½f handicap chase. This looks a cracker of a race and - as Tom Segal writes in the Racing Post (as Pricewise) any one of the front-3 in the betting can win this. I think Midnight Chase may just be past it, but Cheltenham brings out the best in him.. So, it's between Quartz De Thaix and BRADLEY. I favour the latter mainly as I think that the Cheltenham race he was 2nd in LTO will be very influential this season (Monbeg Dude runs in the Welsh National - you read it here first). The worry is that he may end up in a race-long battle for the lead with Midnight Chase and that will leave the race open for Quartz De Thaix to pounce. Giving 22lb to BRADLEY should prove too much for Midnight Chase tho' and BRADLEY should run-out a clear winner - even so, I would NOT take less than 3/1.

My final race assessment is for the 3:05 which is a 3-mile handicap hurdle. In my experience, genuine 3-mile hurdlers are rare beasts and, when you find one, you should follow them. CROSS KENNON is such a horse and when in his prime in this sphere 2 seasons back he was rated OR154 after running 4th in the World Hurdle in 2011. He looked back to his best LTO when losing out to the unexposed and potentially very good Goulanes to whom he was conceding 14lb, and a repeat of that should see him in the frame if not winning here. As such, 12/1 looks decent.

Lastly, I have been a big supporter of CUE CARD for the past couple of seasons, and I think he has a tremendous chance in the coming King George Chase on Boxing Day (for which he is 7/1).  However, the horse who I reckon will follow him home is KAUTO STONE and if today's reports that AP McCoy is being offered the ride (Daryl Jacob being suspended) then I'd take the 16/1 eachway that's on offer.

Selections:

Cheltenham 12:45, SOUND STAGE, ½pt eachway @ 10/1 (William Hill, BetVictor both BOG ¼-odds a place 1,2,3)

Cheltenham 1:55, BRADLEY, 1pt win @ 3/1 (don't take less, it is generally available)

Cheltenham 3:05, CROSS KENNON, ½pt eachway @ 12/1 (William Hill, BetVictor both BOG ¼-odds a place 1,2,3,4)

I will also be having a personal ¼pt eachway double on SOUND STAGE and CROSS KENNON.

Good luck & thanks for reading this blog to all visitors, I hope that readers of the blog get enjoyment from it.  If you've had a successful wager on the back of what you've read here, then please make a contribution as an expression of thanks. Feel free to tell those who you think may find the blog of interest and value and, if you are a regular visitor, please add the blog to your list of favourites.

Remember!  Betting on horseracing should be a pleasurable experience - never bet more than you can afford to lose.

Thanks from Wayward Lad



Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Here's hoping for the weekend

No jump-racing on Thursday following a blank day on Wednesday. So, I've decided to have a look-ahead at the weekend to see if there is any early value to be had at the Cheltenham meeting which, based on today's weather forecast, should be going ahead.

The advance going is Soft (good-to-soft in places) and that is unlikely to change. The feature race on Saturday is the Paul Stewart IronSpineCharity Challenge Gold Cup (handicap chase) over 2m5f of the New Course. This race has been dominated by the major stables of Henderson, Nicholls, Pipe and Hobbs in recent years, and I don't think it will be any different this year even if Alan King is sending the antepost fav Walkon. The softer the better, for Walkon, and I don't think he'll appreciate being raised 5lb in the handicap for this either. Behind him in 3rd LTO was Nadiya De La Vega and this horse is 3 from 3 on good-to-soft. He's also running off the same mark of OR145, so he has a 5lb pull with Walkon and he'll be racing on ground more to his liking. At 10/1 quarter-odds a place 1,2,3,4 he looks stonking value as I write. The only other horse that jumps out at me is Ghizao. Long-time readers of the blog will know my history with this horse who I was convinced would win the Arkle at the 2011 Cheltenham Festival. I still think he'd have gone close but for a bad error at the fence at the top-of-the-hill, and his subsequent Aintree 2nd (despite another error-strewn jumping performance) reinforced that belief. He was 6th of 16 in this race last year racing off OR154, and he looked capable of winning the race approaching the final fence but found nothing on the run-in. He's had a breathing operation since then, and his form in his latest run (3rd to Captain Chris at Ascot over 2m3f on heavy ground) suggests he's back to his best. As such, his OR155 rating could be lenient especially as he's won 5 times from 7 runs on good-to-soft or soft ground. At 16/1, he is another that I'd take an interest in before the day.

The International hurdle on Saturday looks a cracker of a race, with the 3 main participants - Rock On Ruby, Zarkandar, and Grandouet - separated by just 4lb on official ratings. Zarkandar gets a 4lb "pull" at the weights and that puts him firmly in the driving seat, especially as he's also had the benefit of a run going into this race. The meeting ends with the Relkeel hurdle over 2m4½f and Oscar Whisky should be hard to beat due to the race conditions as he's well-in at the weights. That said, I think Crack Away Jack is on a lenient rating of OR151, and in-receipt of 8lb from Oscar Whisky, he'll not be far away. I have been hoping Crack Away Jack would return to chasing as he runs off OR142 in that sphere and were he entered in the feature chase handicap on Saturday running off OR142, he would be a 2pt win "nap".

I'll be interested in Molotof if he goes to Doncaster on Saturday for the 3-mile novice chase. Later on the Doncaster card, I'll be hoping the 2m3f handicap cuts-up if my recent advised winner Lets Get Serious takes part. I think he looks a super prospect and could well end-up a 150+ chaser, but I'd like to see him facing less than 8 rivals in this race as it'll only be his 2nd chase and he may not enjoy the hurly-burly if there are 10+ runners in the race.

Friday's meeting at Cheltenham is similarly attractive. I enjoyed a good win on Sound Stage when he won the 2m5f handicap Chase just 2 years ago, and he returns for another attempt this week. Unfortunately, he does not look the horse he was then but I'm sure trainer Caroline Keevil will have his fit to do his best. There is a tremendous 3m1½f chase at 1:55 on Friday, and there are a number of horses entered which I have on my alert list, including Quartz De Thaix. Another is Bradley, who has only been raised 5lb for his recent brave 2nd at the previous Cheltenham meeting. There is also Wyck Hill, but he'll be racing from 5lb out of the handicap and I think he'll find an easier target than this.

Good luck & thanks for reading this blog to all visitors, I hope that readers of the blog get enjoyment from it.  If you've had a successful wager on the back of what you've read here, then please make a contribution as an expression of thanks. Feel free to tell those who you think may find the blog of interest and value and, if you are a regular visitor, please add the blog to your list of favourites.

Remember!  Betting on horseracing should be a pleasurable experience - never bet more than you can afford to lose.

Thanks from Wayward Lad.



Monday, 10 December 2012

Weekend look-back

It was a bit up & down wasn't it? On Friday, I looked at 5 races in all and mentioned one horse in each race, narrowing-down to 2 advised selections. Both selections were unsuccessful: Graduation Night was the subject of a substantial gamble from 10's in the morning to an SP of 11/2. He was going well, until stopping quickly and being pulled-up after jumping the 5th fence from home in this 4-mile marathon chase. No reason has been given for the horse being pulled-up. On the Sandown card, I tipped Satou in the 2:55 who was also gambled on from 7/1 into 9/2, but he never looked like winning. The other 3 horses mentioned who I expected to run well, but did not advise as selections were:-

The Big Freeze at Exeter, who won at 11/4 by a nose;
Bold Sir Brian at Sandown, who won at 11/10 very easily just as I expected he would; and
Berenger, also at Sandown, who came 3rd at 13/2 having led at the final flight before losing by just over half-a-length.

There was no blog on Saturday, but I did advise 2 selections via twitter
(my moniker is @wayward_lad).
Chepstow 1:00 - Imperial Circus was 3rd of 5 runners; and
Aintree 1:05 - Wayward Prince Won at 4/1.

So, if you followed me on twitter, and I know a lot do (1200 followers), you were well rewarded.

Good luck & thanks for reading this blog to all visitors, I hope that readers of the blog get enjoyment from it.  If you've had a successful wager on the back of what you've read here, then please make a contribution as an expression of thanks. Feel free to tell those who you think may find the blog of interest and value and, if you are a regular visitor, please add the blog to your list of favourites..
Remember!  Betting on horseracing should be a pleasurable experience - never bet more than you can afford to lose.
Thanks from Wayward Lad



Friday, 7 December 2012

The Big Freeze is coming

Welcome back and, before I recap on last weekend's performance, did any readers manage to take advantage of that 6/1 winner that I advised via twitter yesterday? There was just one horse running off my personal alert list (I use easyodds, as their alert list facility is free and - so far - without limit on numbers), and that was DREAM FUNCTION. This horse is a sister to Captain Chris and had won twice from 3 races last autumn (2011) for trainer Phil Hobbs, before moving to Ireland. I sent out a message on twitter (my handle is: @wayward_lad) at 12:15pm which left readers plenty of time to get on before the race started at Clonmel at 2:45. I am not a "tipster" who puts-up selections less than 5 minutes before the off-time on twitter - many do, but not me. Admittedly, the selection was fortunate as Cadspeed, trained by Willie Mullins and ridden by Ruby Walsh, was 12-lengths clear of Dream Function coming to the final fence where he fell. That left Dream Function to saunter past the stricken horse and take an easy win. The horse was very easy to back (I was on at 10.50 on Betfair about 30 mins before the race), but as it wasn't posted on the blog I'll not take the winner into my profit figures for the season.

We had another good winner on the blog last weekend in ROLLING ACES and, as such, made a ½pt profit last Saturday making 22.90pts profit last week. In the Hennessey, Fruity O'Rooney gave followers a great run and even jumping the 2nd-last I thought the horse would be placed and return a profit, but he tired quickly after the last fence. Harry the Viking never really got into the race and possibly wants a drop in grade and another half mile. Earlier on the card, Rey Nacarado looked like taking the race 2-out but was one-paced thereon. He does relish an extreme test, so perhaps softer going would benefit him.

Onto today, but before I continue THE WILL BE NO BLOG TOMORROW. Believe it or not, I actually have a full-time job and tonight it is the firm's Christmas Party. I'm staying-over in London afterwards and going Christmas shopping on Saturday in the "West-End". If I find any value in the morning (while I'm having breakfast somewhere in Borough Market) then I'll be posting it on twitter.

We have a couple of meetings today, at Sandown and Exeter, and they both look useful. I would keep an eye on the weather tho' especially the meeting at Sandown, as it's very cold and sleety this morning. At Exeter, the 4-mile handicap chase at 1:30 could be gruelling. There will be a good pace on thru'out courtesy of Shaking Hands (2nd in this race last year) and Ammunition. Lord Tomnoddy is interesting as his trainer Kim Bailey is 4 wins from 5 runners here in chases in the past 5 seasons. The horse will act on the soft (heavy in places) ground and, for a 10yo, is very lightly raced (just 8 races under rules), so there could be some improvement to come. But, at just 7/2 as I write, he does not look value to me. The one that does is GRADUATION NIGHT who I tipped on 10th November when coming 5th of 12 at Sandown over 3m1f. He looks to me like he'll enjoy this step-up in trip, and he'll be able to sit behind the pace-makers and pounce late-on when his stamina comes into play. Currently 10/1 (Betfred, BetVictor, Corals & Tote) he looks a worthwhile eachway wager. Later on the Exeter card at 3:15, I do like the look of THE BIG FREEZE but there's no room for error in his current odds of 3/1 in this novice handicap chase. Even so, I expect this 6yo horse from the Tim Vaughan stable to pay his way this winter.

At Sandown, the meeting looks a tricky one for punters, so tread carefully! The feature is the 2:20 which is a "Listed" chase over an extended 3-mile. I will be very surprised if BOLD SIR BRIAN is beaten in this, as he's not stopped improving and this trip of 3-miles could well be his best. He has already won at 2m7f at Kelso on soft, so I can't find any question-marks. This is a straight "match" with Pacha Du Polder from Paul Nicholls stable and BOLD SIR BRIAN should win with something in hand. I don't advise wagers at odds under 9/4, so I won't advise a wager on BOLD SIR BRIAN at 11/10 - but I wouldn't put anyone off. The amateur riders h'cap chase at 2:55 is a cracker. Quite why Vincitore is 16/1 is beyond me as he's proven at this trip and his rider, Miss Hart, gets on well with him. I'd expect a place from him.  I tipped Brackloon High last week, and he fell at the 1st fence, so my confidence is shaken a bit in him. The market has moved for Dashing George as he's won over C&D in Feb11 and a repeat of that form would see him win easily. But, he's not a safe jumper of a fence, and his mistakes were his downfall LTO. Were he 8/1+ I'd say he was an eachway proposition, but at just 4/1 he's too short for me. The one I like the look of is SATOU, who is the only runner for trainer Phil Hobbs at Sandown today. This 6yo has been running well this autumn and he's also a C&D winner (Dec11). He looks like giving a bold show in this race, which has a few duffers racing in it, and odds of 7/1 (William Hill & Skybet) look generous. Finally, when Nicky Henderson and Barry Geraghty get together than take notice, so Berenger in the last race at Sandown should not be allowed to go off at 8/1 even if his form is a bit dubious. He's clearly a slow horse and lacking gears, but if anyone can conjure a run out of the horse it will be Geraghty.

Selections:
Exeter 1:30, GRADUATION NIGHT, ½pt eachway @ 10/1 (BetVictor, BOG, 5th odd a place 1,2,3)

Sandown 2:55, SATOU, ½pt eachway @ 7/1 (William Hill, BOG, 5th odd a place 1,2,3)

Good luck & thanks for reading this blog to all visitors, I hope that readers of the blog get enjoyment from it.  If you've had a successful wager on the back of what you've read here, then please make a contribution as an expression of thanks. Feel free to tell those who you think may find the blog of interest and value and, if you are a regular visitor, please add the blog to your list of favourites.

Remember!  Betting on horseracing should be a pleasurable experience - never bet more than you can afford to lose.

Thanks from Wayward Lad.



Saturday, 1 December 2012

Hennessey Gold Cup


What a cracking day yesterday was.
Just 2 selections and BOTH WON, returning an 11pt profit on the day.
Including last Saturday, when I posted 4 selections and 2 won returning a 7pt profit on the day, I’ve posted 8 selections on the blog and FIVE, yes FIVE have won returning a 22.40pt profit on the week from 9pts staked.
Remember, I’m not interested in finding winners at less than 9/4 so, if you want odds-on shots look elsewhere.
First up yesterday was LETS GET SERIOUS and didn’t he jump well for his debut chase! That makes is 7 winners from 11 runners in chases at Doncaster for James Ewart, trainer of Lets Get Serious. I said stats like than cannot be ignored but, even so, this horse looks to have a bright future.
As for BLESS THE WINGS, what a brave horse. I thought he’d lost it when he idled after the last losing a 4-length lead, but he picked-up the bit and ran on again in the final 50 yards. Would The Knoxs have won if he hadn’t fallen? Probably not, as to get safely over the fence he’d have needed to take it slower and that would have handed the advantage firmly to Bless The Wings. I did say The Knoxs was one to drop a leg.
Many thanks for all those who had a good wager yesterday, and then pressed the donate button. It does make writing the blog worthwhile and provides me with more incentive to write again.

Onto today, and it’s the Hennessey Gold Cup at Newbury, plus supporting cards at Newcastle and Towcester – but Newcastle has an inspection planned.

The opener at Newbury has REY NACARADO running from my alert list. This horse has won twice over C&D and the latest of those wins was on soft ground off a mark of 120. He really does have a favorites chance in this race and 7/2 looks fair to me. That said, Hunters Lodge looks to be on the upgrade, and Ballyoliver has had plenty of opportunities to show he stays this sort of trip and hasn’t convinced. The others look out of it.

Have your notebook ready for the novice chase at 1:25 as this could be full of future winners. The obvious contender to win is ROLLING ACES who has been on my alert list since winning his debut novice hurdle over a year ago, but there are any number of horses that could improve considerably on what they’ve shown, and I’m thinking of Seven Woods, Merry King, and Godsmejudge.

The Hennessey is at 3:10, and I’ve been telling those within my “inner sanctum” to take the odds about FRUITY O’ROONEY for well over a week, and I’m on at 33/1. This is a race with some bookmakers paying 5 places eachway (Bet365, Paddy Power) so take advantage, as you can get 25/1 on FRUITY O’ROONEY with Bet365. I know the horse stays the trip, and he’ll handle the ground, he’s won twice on heavy! Regular readers will know I won on him at the Festival when he was a bold 2nd in the JLT Chase on the opening day. Expect a similar run today, from the front playing catch me if you can. He will have Teaforthree running with him early on, but that horse has the Welsh National as his target. For his lack of experience, Hold On Julio looks too short a price for me, and the same goes for Bobs Worth. If either of those win then they have developed into very good chasers. One who could be under the radar is Harry The Viking who, courtesy of stablemate Tidal Bay, gets in on 10st 2lb. He ran 2nd to Teaforthree at the Festival (at levels) and he could be one for the eachway punters. But, its FRUITY O’ROONEY for me.
I can’t see anything worth having a wager on at Towcester. As for Newcastle, the weather has almost killed the meeting and they really should cancel it. I feel sorry for the course as the Fighting Fifth hurdle as the jewel in their crown.

So then, the selections for the day are:

Newbury 12:15 REY NACARADO, 1pt win @ 100/30 (sorry, the 7/2 has gone so be quick)
Newbury 1:25 ROLLING ACES, ½pt each way @ 5/1 (Bet Victor and Stan James)
Newbury 3:10 FRUITY O’ROONEY, ½pt each way @ 25/1 (Bet365, paying 5 places ew)
Newbury 3:10 HARRY THE VIKING, ¼pt each way @ 25/1 (Paddy Power, paying 5 places ew)

Thanks for reading this blog to all visitors and I hope that you get enjoyment from it. If you have had a successful wager on the back of what you’ve read here, then please make a contribution as an expression of thanks. Feel free to tell those who you think may find the blog of interest and value and, if you are a regular visitor, please add the blog to your list of favourites.
Remember! Betting on horseracing should be a pleasurable experience - never bet more than you can afford to lose. Thanks from Wayward Lad.